My weekend can best be summed up as “produce dealing”. There was the bag of cucumbers Virginia dropped off that became bread & butter pickles, peppers from the garden that became pepper jelly, a round of watermelon rind pickles started thanks to Virginia trying to get to a watermelon before the little nibbling critters in our garden did, only to cut it open to discover it wasn’t quite ready for eating.
Category: summer dinner
Peach Pesto Feta Salad
The inspiration for this salad came from what I find to be the best inspiration – having a bunch of stuff in the fridge that needed to go and finding a way to use it all up. I had two white peaches that were on the verge of being over-ripe, a little bit of homemade pesto and the smallest little bit of Caromont Farm’s Feta (our new favorite cheese). I wanted a salad for dinner and thought about Jennifer Jo’s bruschetta, but all the tomatoes I had on hand could stand another day or two of sitting to further ripen (the result of picking them before the squirrels got them), so I poured myself a glass of wine and just started playing around in the kitchen. Continue reading
It was a glorious Memorial Day weekend here. The weather was just simply beautiful and honeysuckle scented. We had no where to be for three whole days – a first since a snowstorm I’m pretty sure. Pat went fishing with Cola, we had lots of girl time in the yard, gardening was done, back roads were driven in pursuit of local berries, which got jammed and frozen while the strawberries we picked from our yard garden got turned into strawberry ice cream that was shared at an impromptu dinner last night with Charles and Carol, our second dinner party with neighbors over the weekend. There was a yard sale score in the shape of a pretty new covered cake stand – the sort that you can flip upside down and turn into a punch or trifle bowl in a pinch, which I guess gets entered into both collections, bringing me to four punchbowls and eight cake stands. To celebrate, I baked a pound cake – this is my go-to recipe, one I tore out of Southern Living eons ago. Just dump everything in your stand mixer and let it go. I love those sorts of recipes. Baking the pound cake was also to use up some of the four dozen duck eggs that were dropped off this weekend, some of which might be involved in a pickling project. The pound cake was pretty divine served with the homemade, homegrown strawberry ice cream. Ambitious to-do lists were made and accomplished this weekend, although the house didn’t really get cleaned like it needs. Now that I’ve wrapped up my last PB&J Fund classes for the semester, I’ll have free afternoons again so maybe I can get that caught up. I did get laundry (mostly) caught up this weekend. One shouldn’t be too ambitious about these things I don’t think. All in all, it was a lazily productive weekend, the sort that had lots of impromptu pop-ins and visits, poison ivy, lazy yard drinks, beautiful evenings and the first lightening bug sightings of the season. Hello summer.
Recent Dinner Successes
Remember last week’s threat to make that recipe I shared with you all using kale? Well, I tried it and while I was at it, mixed it all up, using rice noodles instead of just rice and then because I had some mushrooms I had to use up, I threw those in as well as some onions for flavor.
I rather liked it. Continue reading
What to do with tomatoes.
I have two gardens this year, the usual one in the yard as well as an ‘off-site’ one in the community gardens. Both have tanked this year. Squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs and deer have feasted mightily. The deer took out both the taller netting we put up to stop them as well as kicking down the wooden fence on one side of the community garden. It’s become a free range buffet to those beasts. The on site garden hasn’t fared much better. Two gardens and all I have to show for it is a bowl full of cherry tomatoes and a handful of peppers. Even basil, supposedly so easy to grow anyone can do it, has been devastated by bugs. The Malabar Spinach I planted has failed to take off because it hasn’t been hot enough. (It did not get out of the 80’s once here the entire month of August.) Major garden fail on every level. I’m considering not having a garden next year, because the amount of work, not to mention money I’ve dumped into harvesting practically nothing is beyond frustrating. Continue reading
Remember this in January.
I first came upon stuffing tomatoes last summer, when my über green thumbed friend Stephanie shared some of her bounty with me. Resembling bell peppers, stuffing tomatoes are thick walled, hollow and generally juice free.
And, we’re back.
In what feels like a pretty familiar theme around here, we’ve once again returned from a few days away. This time around, it was our annual trip to Smith Mountain Lake with Will & Mollie.
It’s summer squash season.
Summer squash is every where this time of year. While it’s an easy addition to any meal, I’m always looking for new ways to serve it to avoid everyone groaning at the answer of “squash, that’s what’s for dinner”. Inspired in equal parts by a summer squash recipe someone gave me years ago cut out of a magazine as well as one of my favorite lentil soup recipes, I whipped this up for dinner the other night. It turned out so well that I grabbed the camera for a quick shot to share with you all. We will definitely be eating this for dinner again soon and so should you.
Granny’s Crab Soup
We took off to Baltimore this past weekend. Generally I’m not so hot at making time to visit with anyone outside of the particular branch of the family tree we are staying with, but one of the beauties of summer is that we have enough wiggle room in our schedule to have long weekends. Which means being able to make time to see people we really want to see.
Mrs. Cape’s Pimento Cheese.
At the outset of last week, I realized if we were going to eat dinner, I was going to have to do some planning (and cooking) ahead. I wanted several options for meals we could just grab and go, making life a little bit easier. One of those options was pimento cheese. Continue reading